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    CSO to acquire Deepwater Division of Aker Maritime

    News // November 3, 2000
    Coflexip Stena Offshore (CSO) has entered into an agreement to acquire AkerMaritime's deepwater operations, which are headquartered in Houston for $513 million plus the assumption of net debt estimated to amount to $112 million.

    The transaction transforms CSO, increasing the Group's front-end and full field engineering capabilities; expanding and strengthening its geographic presence in deep water markets, particularly the Gulf of Mexico; and enlarging the scope of technologies,services and products offered by the Group.

    The two groups have an excellent fit as they complement one anotherstrategically, technologically, and geographically and have similar cultures.

    Merging the Deepwater Division with CSO's expertise in subsea technologiesand operations will provide new opportunities that neither of the groups couldhave accessed independently, claims CSO. The Deepwater Division's strong presence in the Gulf of Mexico and its ability to access West African markets and the Caspian Sea complements CSO's strong operations in the North Sea, Brazil, West Africa and AsiaPacific.

    CSO will also benefit from the Deepwater Division's advanced technologiesin offshore production support, including dry wellhead concepts, and willfurther complement its subsea solutions. Furthermore, the Deepwater Divisionis one of the two companies holding exclusive rights to the SPAR technologyfor drilling and production in deepwater.

    Following the transaction, CSO says it anticipates it will be in a position to access markets estimated at $19 billion for the year 2000, compared with the $3 to $4 billion currently. CSO will also be able to tender for larger EPIC work.For the year ended December 31, 1999, pro forma revenues for the enlargedCSO Group would have been approximately $1.6 billion with the followingregional split: 40% North Sea; 31% North America; 10% Brazil, 9% Africa;8% Mid-East and Asia Pacific and 2% others; with a combined head count of6,700.

    Aker Maritime's Deepwater Division holds a leading position in the rapidlygrowing international deepwater market. It provides services related toconceptual design, project management, engineering, construction andinstallation of offshore oil and gas drilling and production facilities. Theengineering and project management services together have 1,000 employeesgeographically split as follows: 500 in the Gulf of Mexico; 300 in Finland;and 200 in the United Kingdom.

    The Deepwater Division has, in particular, a leading role in the marketfor SPARs, and has been involved in the three SPAR production platforms installed to date, all in the Gulf of Mexico. The Division also holds a strong market position in engineering and construction of floating production, storage and offloading systems(FPSOs), Tension Leg Platforms (TLPs) and semi-submersible platforms. Geographically, the Deepwater Division conducts most of its activities in the US Gulf of Mexico, the UK sector of the North Sea and in West Africa.

    The transaction is subject to approval of the relevant regulatory authorities and confirmatory due diligence. Subject to these conditions being fulfilled, the sale of the shares of the companies making up the Deepwater Division should be effective by 03January 2001.

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